That’s Not What It Says

Have you ever tried to convince anyone that Jesus is the only way to Heaven? If you have, did you use John 14:6 as your proof?  In this passage Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

But I challenge you to re-read that passage.  Where does it say Jesus is the only way to Heaven?  Heaven isn’t even mentioned in the passage. The passage says Jesus is the only way to the Father.

But one might say, “Yeah, but the Father is in Heaven, right?  So this is just semantics. What difference does it make how you say it?”

Well, as I understand it, it makes a significant difference.  Consider:

  • If you are a grandparent, and your grandchildren were coming for a visit; would it matter to you if your grandchildren were excited about coming because they love to play in your yard or because they were excited to see you?
  • If due to work, you’ve been separated from your spouse for over a month, would it matter to you if your spouse was excited to get home because he loves his house or because he loves you?

Of course it would matter.  One may ask, what’s the difference if Jesus is the only way to “heaven” or the “father?”  The answer is relationship.  One is a place, the other is a person.  One is a gift, the other is the giver.  Should we not be more interested in going to see our Heavenly Father than seeing the neat things that belong to our Heavenly Father?

When being with our Heavenly Father is our goal, and Heaven is a perk, we’ll have our priorities right.  Give it some thought.

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Comments 8

  • Interesting article. I never thought of heaven as a perk … only as the eternal home in which God the Father dwells and Jesus on the Right Hand of the Majesty on High! Where I want to spend my eternity. See, we all know this earth is not our true home… wasn’t created to be. Heaven has been created as our true citizenship (Philippians 3:20). Why? Because that is where our Father dwells for eternity. I teach all the time Jesus is the only Way to heaven (and I do use John 14:6)…First of all, because it’s the truth. The beginning of that passage Jesus sets His disciples minds at ease (or that was His intention to since they thought He was establishing an earthly kingdom and were troubled He was going away) .. “Do not be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Fathers House are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, you may be also, and where I go you know, and the way you know.” John 14:1-4. Secondly, I cannot get to the Father who is in heaven through Buddha, Mohammed, Joseph Smith or anyone else. He, and His Son Jesus Christ are the very reasons as to why I want to go to heaven…being with them means I have received the end of my faith, that I am ultimately saved from the snares of death and dwell in the light with God for eternity. I do not see desiring to have a “mansion” in heaven, or heaven as my home as having my priorities as a Christian out of line because why would Christ then speak of the many “mansions”in heaven for His Disciples to look forward to? Wouldn’t that then mean He was teaching them to look forward to heaven as a perk, as a glorious dwelling place and all heaven has to offer? Just a few thoughts. I do not disagree with your article per se… I do agree that if one is just set to be in heaven because he wants salvation forever and has no desire to be with God, the Father, yes, he has his priorities out of line. But to get to the Father (who is in heaven) one must follow and obey Christ because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. I may be wrong, and I am okay to be corrected, because I always want to please God… but I always thought “life” in John 14:6 refers to not the physical, but the spiritual – eternal life (which also is only found in heaven).

  • Great thoughts. It also made me think about what that statement, “well God is in heaven,” has done to our thinking. Is God only in Heaven?

  • Disagree. One is often put for the other. Your bullet points are not parallel to what you’re seeking to prove. Besides, it wouldn’t make any difference to me if I expressed getting home or getting home to my spouse, and my spouse would know what I was talking about. The use of John 14:6 to prove Jesus is the only way to the Father OR heaven is valid.

  • I tend to agree with John Henson. Simply put, you cannot have heaven eternally without God. Neither can you have God eternally without heaven. When one suggests that the only way to heaven is through Jesus, that automatically includes God, or vice versa. Additionally, is there really a problem with people who want heaven but not God (or want God but not heaven)? If so, I have to say that I have never run across them.

  • Good thoughts Steve. I see in the whole context there of Jn. 14:1-6, “my Father’s house” and “to the Father.” Seems to me that we have to first come to the Father through His Son before we have any thought of going to the place prepared for us in “my Father’s house.” – and what a house it is!

  • Hi Matt, thanks for your comments. I agree with them and you hit the nail on the head with your last sentence. That’s precisely what I was saying in the article. When one is more focused on the gift than the giver, there is a priority problem. That’s what I was saying. I want to go to Heaven too. And I affirm that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. I never said he isn’t. My point was that in John 14:6, Jesus explicitly said he was the way to the Father. I was emphasizing the need to have a relationship with the “giver” and not just look forward to the “gift.”

  • John and Saul,
    Thanks for your comments. I read what both of you had to say. I don’t agree but I did consider your objections. First of all, John, I believe my bullet points are parallel. And Saul, yes, there is a large problem with people who want heaven but have no relationship with God! The point of my article is that our focus should be upon the Father not what he gives us. It was intended to cause us to consider our “relationship” with the Father and not be content with “checking off” the things we must do in order to enjoy heaven. Hope that helps.

  • Perhaps this point is illustrated by those seeking Jesus after He fed the 5000. The next day they were seeking Him, but He observed that they did not see in the sign that he was the Son of God and thus wanted to be with Him, but just wanted more bread (John 6:26). Seeking God is worth doing in and of itself. He is the blessing we need.

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